Choose your country site
Close

U.S. State-by-State Workplace Covid-19 Guidelines and Employer Resources

Across the country, states have developed pathways toward reopening their economies and are implementing protocols for businesses to reopen and for employees to return to workplaces. The overall framework of each state’s plan is similar: a series of phases with gradual loosening of restrictions made possible by a downward trend in new cases of COVID-19 and an increase in testing capability, contact tracing capability, and the level of preparedness of hospitals and public health agencies to respond to and combat new cases.

Please note that the Coronavirus situation is fluid, and laws are changing rapidly, the links below are intended to help guide you to a state’s list of regulations. Updates to state laws and regulation will be made on those local pages.

State-by-State COVID-19  Guidance

These state, local and federal presidential measures cover a range of issues, including business restrictions, gathering limitations, funding for businesses, mask orders and vaccination rollout plans. Each jurisdiction is on a different timeline with varying levels of restrictions in place, and our resource compiles this important information in one easy to access page.

Alabama Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

Covid-19 News and Resources

Since launching webpage linked above, Governor Ivey has worked with various partners to develop two critical COVID-19 sites for Alabamians to get all of their COVID-19 answers. Please visit altogetheralabama.org or covid19.alabama.gov.

Alaska Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

Alaska Occupational Health and Safety (AKOSH) – Covid-19 information links and presentations

Arizona Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) is providing the following information for individuals and employers about how returning to work may impact unemployment benefits. Click here for more information.

*(Updated April 5th 2021) Governor Ducey issued Executive Order 2021-08, lifting restrictions on healthcare institutions. Specifically, the Order rescinds Executive Orders 2020-10 (Delaying Elective Surgeries), 2020-22 (Protection of Vulnerable Residents at Nursing and Residential Care Institutions, IFC-IIDs, and DD Medical Group Homes), and 2020-32 (Requesting Exemption from Executive Order 2020-10).

Arkansas Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission is committed to helping businesses and employees combat the effects of COVID-19. You can find information for unemployment, insurance claims, Governor press briefings and Arkansas Department of Health resources here: https://www.arkansasedc.com/covid19 

California Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

California’s blueprint for reopening has criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities based on the level of spread of COVID-19. On April 2, 2021, the California Department of Public Health updated the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Colorado Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

This guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment offers workplaces and non-healthcare, non-residential facilities best practices for preventing and reducing the severity of outbreaks and contains tools for reporting outbreaks to public health. This website was most recently updated on February 2, 2021 with the following forms and resources for all non-healthcare employers:

Connecticut Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development have created a Covid-19 sector rules for reopening businesses. You can view all rules updated and effective as of March 19th, that apply to CT businesses and organizations here: CT Business Sector Rules for Reopen 

Other important information to note in Connecticut:

  • All establishments must follow CDC Cleaning and Disinfecting guidelines.
  • CT is offering a small business reopening resource guide: view the guide. 
  • Employees may return to work without testing. New CDC guidance suggests you may return to work without a negative COVID test: learn more. 
  • CT is offering employee support to help businesses find relief during COVID-19, see more on employee support here. 

Connecticut operates an OSHA-approved State Plan covering only state and local government workers. Private sector employers and their workers are covered by federal OSHA. Find the Connecticut state plan here.

Delaware Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Division of Public Health and the Division of Small Business designed an employer toolkit to help employers make a plan for their workplace and employees including identifying risk, creating safe environments for employees and customers, and empowering employees. Download the PDF here. 

Florida Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), provides state and federal resources to communities, businesses and Floridians. Other resources in Florida for employers wanting to resume business as usual in the sunshine state:

Florida Department of Health: Covid-19 Guidance for Businesses and Employees  (PDF)

Georgia Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The information provided below by the Georgia Department of Administrative Services provides agencies with guidelines and resources that may be helpful in responding to issues and questions related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). These guidelines will be adjusted and updated on their site:

Below are the most recent Georgia HR Admin Covid-19 Reponse guidelines and mandates, to review all click here.

State Directives and Guidelines:

Indiana Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Indiana Department of Labor can offer guidance to employers and employees regarding safety and health, as well as wage and hour issues occurring during the pandemic. The state has a very robust site that shows everything from cases, to reopening schedules, to contract tracing to forms to fill out for OSHA issues: https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/

Iowa Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

Novel Coronavirus – Business & Organizations: This page contains COVID-19 information and guidance for Iowa businesses and organizations.

COVID-19 Business Recovery Guidance:  Guidance on reopening your business after COVIID-19.

Leaders Helping Leaders | A Facebook group created by ABI member Kathleen Riessen for leaders who want to support other leaders and receive support in making critical decision

Iowa Economic Development Authority: The IEDA has created a general guidebook for opening all businesses, checklists for personal service businesses, as well as signage you can use when you re-open.

Kansas Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Kansas local government has issued a guide of links for Kansas COVID-19 Response and Recovery: https://covid.ks.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Business-Guidance.pdf
The Kansas Department of Health and environment also has a robust website that walks businesses and employers throughout all sectors within Kansas on reopening safely: https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/248/Business-Employers

Kentucky Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

KY Healthy At Work: Industry-specific guidance will be updated as additional sectors of the economy reopen

Kentucky’s Response to COVID-19 – Kentucky Governor Andy: Current restrictions and guidelines for businesses are available on the state’s Healthy at Work website. 

Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness has compiled FAQs and checklists for both businesses and employees about how to handle COVID-19 in the workplace and how to best prevent it. View those materials here.

Louisiana Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Louisiana of Department of Health has provided the following links for helping businesses reopen safely.

For Businesses

  • All non-essential businesses and institutions must register on the Louisiana State Fire Marshal website opensafely.la.gov to receive sector-specific guidelines for reopening and a certificate of Acknowledgement of Registration, which must be posted at all entrances, so it is visible before entering the premises.
  • For New Orleans specific reopening guidelines, visit the “Rules of Businesses and Operations” section of the ready.nola.gov site here.

Maine Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

See the latest news releasesradio addressesexecutive orders from Gov. Janet Mills, as well as a timeline of the administration’s response to COVID-19:

Other links:

The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development has updated FAQs for businesses about the Moving Maine Forward plan.

Maryland Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

Maryland operates an OSHA-approved State Plan covering most private sector workers and all state and local government workers. Find the Maryland state plan here. 

  • Businesses should still continue to check with their local and county governments for specific limitations and reopening regulations in their area.
  • Health officials from each county and Baltimore City are authorized to close locations that are unsafe and at risk for spreading COVID-19. Businesses, organizations and other facilities may be instructed to modify their operations or movements to comply with social distancing guidelines or ordered to close altogether.

Massachusetts Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Baker-Polito Administration’s comprehensive plan to safely reopen the Massachusetts economy, get people back to work, and ease social restrictions while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19:

Upon reopening, all Phase 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Step 1) businesses must follow the sector-specific safety protocols and best practices linked below. Additional sector guidance for future phases will be issued at a later date.  Access sector-specific protocols, best practices and checklists for the state of Massachusetts here. 

Michigan Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The entirety of the state of Michigan is currently under the same public health guidance and restrictions, but there may be more restrictive or specific guidelines issued by local governing authorities. Individuals should contact their local health department or check their website for more information.

The following resources are available to workers to ease anxieties and guide you through the uncertainties which come with this pandemic:

For additional information about restrictions in place, please see the MDHHS Epidemic Orders page.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has provided a helpful FAQ for Michigan businesses and communities here.  

Minnesota Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

All Minnesota businesses were previously required to establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan per Emergency Executive Order 20-74. However, that Plan might need to be updated to reflect the new face covering requirements in Executive Order 20-81 signed July 22, 2020. Businesses should review their existing COVID-19 Preparedness Plans and communicate with employees any changes to that Plan as a result of EO 20-81. Read the Preparedness Plan FAQs for more information and see details for your industry here.

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce: Covid-19 Business Toolkit 

  • As the COVID-19 crisis develops, the MCC will remove older resources from the COVID-19 Business Toolkit and will house them in the COVID-19 Business Toolkit Archive.

Mississippi Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The State Chamber of Commerce’s Mississippi Economic Council has release a best practices website for returning to work and reopening business here.

Mississippi State Department of Health guidance for businesses, many of which are pulled directly from the CDC and OSHA guidelines:

Missouri Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The State of Missouri government website has created a site specifically for businesses and citizens of the Show Me State to acquire information on Public Health, Economic Recovery and Social Impact. Visit that site here: https://showmestrong.mo.gov/data/ 

Missouri has multiple sites up and ready to answer questions for return to work and resources to help both employees and employers:

Montana Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

MontanaWorks provides workforce development and unemployment insurance services through a one-stop portal, including job seeker tools, the state job bank and instruction about unemployment insurance.

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry has created a specific section of their website to showcase regular updates and resource guides for Montana employers and employees. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry is closely following the changing dynamics and policies at the state and federal level. This page will be regularly updated to share updated information. Please bookmark this page and check back often.

Nebraska Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

There are few updated guidance resources coming from the state government within Nebraska. They point to the CDC for updated information. You can find what information there is at the links below.  You can find reliable and useful information at www.cdc.gov/covid19 and dhhs.ne.gov/Coronavirus, as well as at www.facebook.com/NEDHHS.

Nevada Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

For Nevada business owners and leaders are restarting their operations and those non-essential employees are slowly returning to work. This process is taking place gradually and non-uniformly as a state-by-state process depending on regional differences and health condition due to COVID-19.

NEVADA UNITED: Roadmap to Recovery Ι This road map was designed to build a path forward and safely restart Nevada’s economy and outlines a coordinated, state-specific plan to address the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis.

There are many other examples of guidance plans and procedures that could help and to certain specific industries and provide some ideas on how to prepare your business and workforce for reopening and recovery process:

Individual counties and local governments and cities might have addition restrictions and guidelines from the overall state. It is good to check your city or county’s official government website to see if there are specific guidelines, but also state or local chambers are a tremendous resource to help businesses and individuals.

To access the list of different Nevada local government and Chambers of Commerce links and resources go to: Nevada Local Government and Chambers of Commerce

New Hampshire Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services releases case numbers, hospitalizations, recovery numbers and other information daily on its COVID-19 summary dashboard.

New Hampshire employers are required to provide COVID-19 safe workplace training. New Hampshire’s COVID -19 Reopening Guidance – Universal Guidelines require employers to “provide employees . . . with training on the Universal Guidelines, industry-specific guidance, and any applicable guidance identified . . .”

New Jersey Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

As employees and employers alike return to work during New Jersey’s restart and recovery plan, learn how you are protected at your job. Below, learn more about safety requirements, worker rights, New Jersey’s reopening timeline, how to report safety violations, and more.

Detailed requirements and exemptions for certain employers can be found in the full text of Executive Order No. 192.

New Mexico Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The New Mexico Department of Health has created a landing page for the safe return of employees. Like many states they also refer to OSHA, the EPA and the CDC for additional resources:

Additional Resources

New York Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

New York and New York City was one of the first and hardest hit regions within the United States at the beginning of the pandemic. The governor’s office has issued a PDF guideling for reopening New York as well as other guides for many sectors within the state:

The NYC Small Businesses Services has created a series of workplace sessions to help employers and employees understand and adapt to the new normal.

for information and to register for the workshop series, click here: Business Adaptation Workshop Series

Other helpful links:

North Carolina Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

North Carolina operates an OSHA-approved State Plan covering most private sector workers and all state and local government workers view the plan here: North Carolina State Plan

  • Business resources, information and assistance from across state government can be found here on the  NC Covid-19  Information Hub.
  • Find out about supply chain, business counseling services and more from the N.C. Department of Commerce here. 
  • Information about best practices on keeping employees healthy, teleworking security, scheduling and communicating with employees can be found here. 

North Dakota Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

To best serve businesses and communities dealing with the impact of COVID-19, the North Dakota Department of Commerce team is taking a proactive approach by temporarily redirecting human and financial resources to support the North Dakota business community.

Other North Dakota Department of Health Employer Resources:

Ohio Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

Ohio agencies and officials have implemented several policies to help businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic. An extensive list of assistance options, guidance on reopening, and new requirements can be found at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/BusinessHelp.

The Ohio Department of Health has lifted many of the mandatory business requirements put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are several newly established workplace requirements. General guidance is found below. Specific guidance for certain sectors is available here.

Oklahoma Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Oklahoma Department of Labor has a list of resources pulled from state and local municipalities as well as guidance from the CDC, OSHA and the EPA, that list can be found on their website here. 

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has issued a pdf for Employer’s Guidance on returning to work. Many updates within the document also refer to CDC and OHSA guidance. Download the Employer’s Guidance here. 

Oregon Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

Oregon operates an OSHA-approved State Plan covering most private sector workers and all state and local government workers. Find the Oregon state plan here.

In January, the Governor’s office along with the Oregon Health Authority released a Sector Guidance document with general guidance for Employers and Organizations for general workplace safety:

Employers and organizations are required to:

More information can be found here from the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries: Coronavirus and Workplace Laws.

Pennsylvania Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

Rhode Island Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation recently released an employer guide for returning to work.

As the State reopens, all business guidance and industry-specific reopening materials are available at www.reopeningRI.com.

Information about economic support and COVID-19 guidance for businesses can be found at the RI Commerce website or by calling 521-HELP (521-4357).

Other resources from Reopening RI:

South Carolina Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

South Carolina OSHA is providing guidance to employers and employees as a result of COVID19. Please use the information and resources below to help keep everyone:

The South Carolina Department and Environmental Control  also has a Regulatory Assistance page related to COVID-19 that includes information for businesses as well as links to more specific guidance.

South Dakota Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

Governor Kristi Noem has unveiled South Dakota’s “Back to Normal Plan” which covers guidance for individuals, employers, enclosed retail businesses that promote public gatherings, schools, health care providers and local governments. See: https://covid.sd.gov/docs/COVID_SDPlan_BackToNormal.pdf

Other resources and organizations that have workplace guidance for South Dakota businesses:

Most of the government pages redirect back to CDC and OSHA guidelines.

Tennessee Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Tennessee Chamber  of Commerce and Industry is committed to helping businesses create a positive work climate. COVID-19 has impacted the way we work and live; It is imperative that Tennessee employers are prepared to handle this pandemic and how we return to work safely. Below are some resources gathered to help educate employers on the coronavirus.

The Governor’s website has taken down the Covid-19 Business resource guide. 

Texas Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The Texas Department of State Health Services  COVID-19 Information for Businesses & Employers page offers many resources to help keep your organization safe. Below are two links with helpful information. The first links to our state’s health recommendations that outline suggested protocols for safe operation. The second links to DSHS tools that can help you communicate safety messages to your colleagues and customers

Utah Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

Utah Resources for Employers and Businesses

  • This webpage is a one-shop-stop for a Utah business’s response to COVID-19. It provides information and resources for protecting workplace health and what to do if an employee, customer or visitor tests positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 Business Manual (Updated 4/2021)

  • This step-by-step, downloadable PDF guide from the Utah Department of Health helps you protect worker’s health. Its detailed table of contents lets you quickly find the information and resources you’re looking for. It includes recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, and U.S. Department of Labor.

Utah operates an OSHA-approved State Plan covering most private sector workers and all state and local government workers. Find the Utah state plan here. 

Vermont Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

As detailed in Governor Phil Scotts recent order, the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Agency (VOSHA) has developed training and other materials to inform Vermonters on appropriate safety measures necessary to return to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Training and other materials were developed in conjunction with the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

Workplace Safety from the State of Vermont Department of Labor

Other resources from the VTDOL

Visit the ACCD COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center
See the Governor’s executive orders for changes that affect employers and employees

Virginia Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

Virginia operates an OSHA-approved State Plan covering most private sector workers and all state and local government workers. Find the Virginia state plan here. 

Virginia establishes permanent COVID-19 workplace safety and health standards

  • On January 27, 2021, the Commonwealth of Virginia became the first state in the country to adopt permanent COVID-19 workplace safety and health standards.

Washington Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

This is a brief summary from Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) and Employment Security Department (ESD). It includes information on worker protections, as well as links to additional information and resources for employers and workers.

Virginia state law requires an employer to keep a safe and healthy workplace. Employers are required to implement a social distancing plan, conduct frequent cleaning and sanitizing and ensure frequent and proper hand washing. Businesses deemed essential are prohibited from operating unless these workplace safety measures are established and implemented in accordance with the following guidance:

As additional information on work-based exposure risk becomes available, these resources will be updated. Follow lni.wa.govesd.wa.gov, and coronavirus.wa.gov for the most up-to-date information.

Find the Washington State Governor’s Guidance for specific businesses here.

West Virginia Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

The West Virginia government refers to CDC guidance on reopening after a prolonged shutdown:

Also visit the WorkForce West Virginia​ for additional information and resources.

Wisconsin Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

With input from national and state health and industry experts and in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and our regional economic development partners, WEDC has compiled a series of documents that provide guidance for how to best deal with COVID-19 on a number of fronts: safe business operations, vaccination, mental health and managing workplace outbreaks, among others.

Industry-specific documents to help you get back to business while taking the necessary precautions to maximize safety. Following these guidelines will help us all get Wisconsin’s economy back on track.

The Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation(link is external) (WEDC) have released guidance for employers related to preventing and managing COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace.

Preventing and Managing COVID-19 Outbreaks in the Workplace, P-02787 (PDF)

Wyoming Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance:

Wyoming operates an OSHA-approved State Plan covering most private sector workers and all state and local government workers. Find the Wyoming state plan here. 

See the Wyoming Department of Health for information on public health orders, current case data, quarantine and isolation guidance, testing information, and more. Local information may also be posted on county health agency websites.

The Wyoming Business Council has numerous resources for employers, workers and communities.

The finer details of each state’s timetable for reopening various industry sectors, along with the health and safety protocols for reopening, however, vary significantly from state to state, making it a challenge for employers to comply with these new requirements and what mass vaccinations means for returning to work safely. In addition to offering state-by-state links to local guidance, we’ve compiled the following information from the CDC as well as from OSHA:

  • The CDC Worker Safety and Support Guidelines can be found here.
  • 8 Things to know about the U.S. Covid-19 Vaccination Program can be found here.
  • OSHA’s Guidance on Returning to Work can be found here.

This guidance is intended to inform employers and workers in most workplace settings outside of healthcare to help them identify risks of being exposed to and/or contracting COVID-19 at work and to help them determine appropriate control measures to implement. Separate guidance is applicable to healthcare (CDC guidance) and emergency response (CDC guidance) settings. OSHA has additional industry-specific guidance. This guidance contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.

Related stories

Moving IT equipment can be the most challenging and riskiest part of any office move. Our step-by-step essential IT checklist will help you stay ahead of your office relocation by thorough planning and management.

Pandemic-proofing offices could involve short-term fixes, new working patterns and long-term design upgrades that put hygiene at the heart of what they do.

How does a business stay operational while keeping employees and customers safe and preventing new COVID-19 outbreaks? Many companies are starting to implement more technology into their everyday work life. From apps on mobile phones to control lighting, temperature and AV equipment, to doors and elevators that open with corporate badges.

Sign up to our newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Speak to one of our experts

Discover how you could change your workspace.

Contact Us